The Women's Murder Club is stalked by a killer with nothing to lose.
San Francisco Detective Lindsay Boxer is loving her life as a new mother. With an attentive husband, a job she loves, plus best friends who can talk about anything from sex to murder, things couldn't be better.
Then the FBI sends Lindsay a photo of a killer from her past, and her happy world is shattered. The picture captures a beautiful woman at a stoplight. But all Lindsay sees is the psychopath behind those seductive eyes: Mackie Morales, the most deranged and dangerous mind the Women's Murder Club has ever encountered.
In this pulse-racing, emotionally charged novel by James Patterson, the Women's Murder Club must find a killer—before she finds them first.
Part One | SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME
I SPENT HALF the night talking to Joe about the belly bombs. And it wasn’t just pillow talk. Joe Molinari was former FBI, also former deputy director of Homeland Security, and now a highly regarded consultant who was content to be Mr. Mom while I fulfilled my calling in Homicide.
Joe had been over the case with me a few dozen times already, and he said, when we were under the covers in the dark, “Sooner or later, the bomber is going to take credit for this.”
I said, “Huh,” and rooted around in the creases of my mind, thinking that for certain bombers, that was true. But not all of them.
I remember that Joe got up for the baby twice. I did it three times, and suddenly it was eight and I was late.
At nine-ish, I parked my car in my favorite spot in the shade of the overpass and went directly to the ME’s Office. The reception area was full of cops and plainclothes guys standing around, wishing for cigarettes and hoping for autopsy reports.
There was a new girl at the front desk —very cute, wearing her blond hair in a low ponytail. She introduced herself: “I’m Debbie Day. The new intern.”
I congratulated the young woman and told her that Claire was expecting me, which was a lie that Claire always backed up.
I found Claire in the autopsy suite, stripping off her gloves as her assistant rolled a corpse out of the room toward the cooler.
She said, “I love how I think about you and you just materialize.”
“You got something?” I asked.
“Yeah. If I hadn’t had my hands full of internal organs, I would’ve texted you.”
Claire unsnapped her gown and hung it on a hook and peeled off her cap. I followed her through to her office, dying every second to know what kind of news she had.
She settled in behind her desk, rolled her chair until she was in just the right place, and said, “I got something from Clapper that he got from the Feds. What the belly bombs consist of.”
“Holy crap. Tell me.”
“Here’s the nutshell version. Trace of some kind of magnesium compound was found in stomach contents that were sprayed around the Jeep. The compound was ingested—you with me so far?”
“If I was any more with you, I’d be sitting in your lap.”
“Stay where you are. I’ve got no room on my lap.”
“Okay, so, this compound interacts with stomach acid.”
I blinked a few times, then said, “You’re saying that those kids ate something and when it got to their stomachs—ka-boom.”
“Exactly,” said Claire.
Until new or contrary evidence challenged our theory, I was calling the belly bomb case a double homicide.
Copyright © 2014 by James Patterson
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